In anticipation of the Fed Open Market Committee meeting, CNBC used their daily "Squawk On the Street" poll to offer viewers a Confidence/ No Confidence vote on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. With almost 20,000 votes cast, 96% voted "No Confidence". Now this is an unscientific poll - and - the wording begs the question why anyone, least of all the Fed Chairman, should be considered uniquely responsible for "handling the economy", but - scientific or not - the numbers are mind-blowing. Who would believe these results? I mean... really... who are those 4% of the respondents who think Bernanke is doing a good job???
Fed Chief Ben Bernanke held his second press conference and reinforced why the 96% have the opinion that they do. The headline of this AP story says it all:
Hard to understand why Bernanke would seem confused about the economy that he is "handling". After all, this was the same guy who said in June, 2007:
Economic Trouble Puzzles Fed Chief, Too
"The economy's continuing struggles aren't just confounding ordinary Americans. They've also stumped the head of the Federal Reserve. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told reporters Wednesday that the central bank had been caught off guard by recent signs of deterioration in the economy. And he said the troubles could continue into next year. "We don't have a precise read on why this slower pace of growth is persisting," Bernanke said. He said the weak housing market and problems in the banking system might be "more persistent than we thought."
".. at this point, the troubles in the subprime sector seem unlikely to seriously spill over to the broader economy or the financial system."In any case, we can rest assured that when it is time to implement an exit strategy for unwinding the most accommodating monetary policy in the history of the United States with an unprecedented currency annihilating hyper-inflation potential, Ben Bernanke is (as he said in a 60 Minutes interview last December) "100% certain" that he can raise rates in time to keep inflation under control.
Sleep well my fellow Americans. The economy is in good hands.
Divided and Balanced.™
Now that is fair.
Now that is fair.